Fireplace Season Has Begun!

FOOD

I was only home for a few days before another brief work trip.

While home had tofu green curry, a breakfast salad from Whole Foods, baked a loaf of bread, and made a rice and broccoli casserole.

Then it was off to Chicago for a quick overnight trip. Stopped for java at Stumptown Coffee before my meetings, and then had lunch at Sunda after, which consisted of sake, spicy edamame and vegan ramen.

Dinner that night was a group affair at the Little Goat Diner. They did make me vegan eats – I just wish they were good. I feel badly, because I could tell they really tried, but I just didn’t enjoy the meal. The company, however, was amazing, so that more than made up for it. And I was still full enough from lunch that it wasn’t a big deal to largely skip dinner.

Just shredded Brussels with lime juice. And a bit too much lime juice unfortunately. One bite, and I was done
Chickpea fritter was okay, but the red cabbage it sat on was amazing!
Mushroom pasta. Didn’t like the flavor combinations that included raisins and cinnamon.
Again with the raisins? Roasted Brussels with raisins and almonds. Didn’t take more than a bite.
Chocolate sorbet paired well with the red wine 😉🍷

The event had no vegan breakfast mains, which isn’t surprising. I had fruit and cashews, which was totally fine. Munched part of a Clif Bar too.

Lunch was a taco bar, which I really liked. Easy enough to make up something tasty.

Then it was back home! I grabbed Thai, but not at my usual place and got Tom ka and pad Thai, both with tofu. And since R and I were the only one’s home for dinner last night, so we went to YNot for some Italian yumminess.

FITNESS

Nothing in Chicago, but runs and a trip to the gym while home.

LIFE

I got home from Atlanta fairly late last Sunday night. Monday I spent some time with my guy before taking Luna to the vet. We’re trying probiotics, thinking the antibiotics killed off all the good bacteria in her belly, causing her poop issues. Fortunately, she’s still eating, drinking, playing, and stealing my spot in bed!

I worked from home on Tuesday. R didn’t have school, so it was nice to spend the day, even though most of mine was at my desk, with the exception of going to vote! Then it was cooking, martini’s, packing and heading to bed for a morning flight.

Chicago was cold. Like grossly cold, and for that reason, I’m not looking forward to heading back in a few days! Ugh. Otherwise the trip was great. Was part of an Innovation “bootcamp” with several other organizations for a day of sharing what we’re each going through in building innovation programs as well as sharing best practices. I really enjoyed it and met some very groovy people.

Walked past 2 of these. Can’t help but wonder how long they’ll actually be around considering the massive $ loss and issues they’re having

Getting as bundled as I could before heading to morning meetings!

Got home late on Thursday night, and then to the office for meetings on Friday. This weekend will be all about school and cleaning and kids before I had to Chicago again on Tuesday! At least this time I’ll get a chance to see family.

Kuma and me hanging by the fireplace this morning! Cold has come to VA. Ugh.

Gift from my boyfriend for my bday. I’m a big fan of this album
Drinking tea for the first time from the cup, and it did cool stuff when it got hot!
Just a silly exchange with my guy when I was coming home from Atlanta

Still a Whiskey Conspiracy and Doctoral Fun

FOOD

Still been on the road since my last post. I had another day in Vegas and the highlight for sure was dinner at the speakeasy Beauty & Essex.

My last morning I found a açaí bowl that I ate just before my last meeting of the conference! Though it was with DB, who is one of my favorites.

Then it was off to Atlanta until today (I’m sitting in the airport killing time and waiting to go home!). It was my doctoral residency so most food was in the hotel. Breakfast was oatmeal, lunch was whatever they had – typically a salad, though one day was much more dynamic. Dinner one day was with K and I had the vegan grit bowl. Second day was with K and our advisor Dr. J, and I had the red and white quinoa bowl with tofu.

Saturday I got out of the hotel and hit up ATL with my girlfriend E. Stopped at the Wrecking Bar first for some flights of in house brews, then The Porter for a Beyond burger and their signature salt and vinegar popcorn (which is totally worth the hype!).

FITNESS

In Vegas I walked. In ATL, I did yoga and my daily burn app. Nothing fancy, but hell, 10 days on the road and I’m thrilled with what I managed!

LIFE

Oh hell, where to start? Left the HLTH conference in Vegas energized and excited, but nervous too. Excited about all that’s going on in the space to truly disrupt my industry. Nervous because the disrupters are the outsiders – and that can be a problem for those entities that aren’t willing to adapt. The next 5-10 years will be really fun to watch.

I got to my Atlanta hotel around midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. The trip is for my very final residency in my doctoral program. I will admit, the experienced was mixed. There are only 2 of us left from our initial cohort (me and K), and while we all keep in touch with the original crew, we are a bit on our own.

This trip was supposed to focus on specific skills to aid in the research process. K and I are both done with all coursework, etc, so what we really have coming up is IRB approval, research, writing, and (hopefully) graduate. So this trip was to focus on tactical skills to get to graduation – like interviewing, site permissions, and going over all the detailed elements we need to know. And while we got some of that, our professor (and there were only 5 of us in total, K and I in the lead cohort with Strategy & Innovation, and 3 others who are behind us in various areas of Leadership and HR), liked way too much to pontificate on things that were entirely irrelevant. All told, it was valuable, but not nearly as much as it could/should have been. I mean really….making us work on creating a mission statement on how we are the “leaders of our own dissertation project”? UGH. All that aside, I got enough to where I’m super jazzed to get going. I submit to IRB at the end of this month, which is totally insane. There is a distinct chance that I start my research before Christmas. It moves up my timetable somewhat, but I’m still so very excited!

Thursday night after class K and I grabbed drinks (SHE DRINKS WHISKEY AND I SWEAR IT’S A CONSPIRACY) and dinner, and it was to bed pretty early.

Friday night after class we had dinner (and a fair amount of very good wine) with our current mentor.

Saturday night after class was all about time with E (WHO ALSO LIKES WHISKEY). Also my youngest R did a cybersecurity scavenger hunt thing at a local community college and got second place!

And today was class and then off to the airport to wait relatively patiently for my flight. And people watch. And I desperately wanna give this woman a makeover…

And while this entire trip has been very productive, I am beyond ready to get home to the ones I love!

Other fun stuff for your viewing pleasure.

Getting prepped to hand out candy on halloween!

When Eyelids Wear Hats

FOOD

Lots and lots of yummy eats! Since my last post I’ve had one trip (New Orleans), a few outings here at home, and some much needed kitchen fun!

Stopped at Whole Foods to grab an Impossible Burger with grilled pineapple and bbq sauce.

The next day, my guy and I spent the day out and about. First a brewery for some pretty darn good beer (I was shocked by the sour – one of the best I’ve had) and amazing food. Then our fav cidery. And then distillery where we had a few cocktails and chatted with E who moved to VA for the summer to collaborate on a pop up sushi restaurant – it was his last day, but he’ll be back next summer.

Then it was off to NOLA for a work/fun visit!

First night was a work dinner, so of course I couldn’t pick the place. Found out the day before where it was, and gave them a call. They made me an amazing dish! Farro, roasted veggies, and a spicy cherry sauce. Totally divine. Didn’t snap a pic because I really just met most of the people at the table and didn’t want to be TOO weird….

Sadly, most eats was grabbing a salad. Staying in the French Quarter, there’s little beyond creole/Cajun and seafood. One night though, A, J, and I went to an amazing placed called MoPho, and I had the tofu spring wraps and the vegan pho – both amazing!

The day I left, A and I met for brunch. Mimosa and a tofu po boy at Surrey’s! Quite tasty.

Then I got home and went a little crazy in the kitchen! In a good way, of course.

Indian feast! Red lentil and sweet potato slow cooker curry, garlic naan, and basmati made with cinnamon and cardamom for dinner my first night home.

The second day, I worked from home – I had 8 hr webex meetings both Monday and Tuesday. Have laptop – will cook!

Ethiopian Stew from Plant Pure Nation

Oil-free tomato salad

Sourdough starter for injera bread! Never made it before, so I’m excited
Shredded TONS of cabbage. Used 6 cups (barely any!) for some slaw

Homemade bread for lunches
Brownies. Obviously

Last night I made feijoada! It’s the national dish of Brazil – usually made with smoked meats. Mine is made with portobello mushrooms, soy curls, and some liquid smoke for that Smokey flavor. It came out great! Kids loved it, which is good because it made tons for leftovers. Also made rice and tostones (which I prefer with lots of hot sauce!)

Today was coffee and a banana for breakfast and then a ramen lunch date!

FITNESS

Well, in two weeks there have been several runs, yoga, long walks, and some spinning in my garage.

LIFE

Whew, where to begin?! The beginning, I guess.

The last Friday night I was home, I hung out with my girlfriend/classmate S and her husband. Wine and chatting for a few hours was nice.

Saturday was a long date day with my boyfriend to the brewery/cidery/distillery.

Wednesday I took off for New Orleans. But first…!

I went to Ulta. I’ll be honest. I’ve always wanted to try false eyelashes, but I admit to being totally intimidated by them. So I stopped in Ulta because I was out of hair stuff, and it turns out they’ll put them on for you! They also happen to have latex free glue (which is rarer than you’d think). So voila! I liked them. Though it felt like my eyelids were wearing little hats.

I arrived fairly late and went to my hotel and to bed. The next morning I was up early. Since my meetings didn’t start until noon, I wanted around the quarter for a bit and stopped for coffee.

I sent my kids the pic of the Lost Boys poster – it’s a family favorite. Anyway, the conversation got interesting and they called me bougie!

After meetings and dinner, A and I met up and hit the quarter for a bit. Then back to my hotel to sleep. I had more meetings in the morning and she had a conference until 3. Then we met up at a happy hour event, headed to her house, and then out to MoPho.

The State of Grace

I was done before A on Friday, so I stopped at a spot in the Quarter for a salad, a drink, and a reread of a classic! This is the Effen Amazing – which is some gin and cucumber concoction. Yum.

Saturday was a ton of fun. Met up with A and J to tour and drink in the quarter. It sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t. First was Tableaux and the incredible Pimm’s cup. 3, to be precise.

Then it was someplace else to get a to go cocktail since that’s totally a thing so we could keep walking around and shop. This was the Cajun Cooler. Ended up drinking about half.

We eventually stopped at a Mexican place – after going through Jackson Square and the French Market – where I had a little bit of the pineapple cilantro.

This trip included stops in voodoo shops, art galleries, kitschy shops and an open air market.

J and A had to head out to get their kids. I went back to my room to chill a bit, and eventually wandered out again for a salad and class of wine.

Sunday I met with with A for brunch and shopping. Picked up 4 pieces of art, I’m really excited about!

Bathroom at Surrey’s…which honestly is one of the stranger one’s I’ve been in

Home and school has started up again! Let the extra chaos commence 🙂

Fast forward to today. Luna had a vet appt late this afternoon. She HATES carriers. After many scratches, I got her in. And she broke through it – literally – on the drive! We hung out in the car while waiting for our appt (I managed to hold her in the carrier until I arrived). The tech came and let me know when a room was open so we could go right in. She has a UTI and will be just fine. They gave me a box crate to get her home in – which was MUCH easier, and I’m keeping it!

And other miscellaneous pics

Road Trip and an Alt Animal Creation Story

FOOD

Been on the road most of this week, so the eats were as well.

Monday I had a banana and then picked up this oat milk latte on the drive to Baltimore. To be honest – didn’t love it and didn’t finish it. Not the oat milk’ s fault since I typically enjoy an oat milk latte. Think I just didn’t like the coffee they used. Cute place though in Salisbury, MD.

Rolled into Baltimore around 230 or so. Spent some time at the hotel then walked into Little Italy where we stopped for a happy hour drink and hummus appetizer and then moved on to a different place for dinner. Where we initially stopped told us in no uncertain terms that we were to be out by 5 since they were hosting a Dancing with the Stars watch party. Um. Ok.

Wasn’t hungry for anything more substantial than a bruschetta app

Tuesday morning we stopped at Teavolve for breakfast and I had a really yummy marinated tofu wrap. Good thing too, since I really didn’t have lunch (my “vegan” plate at the conference was about 5 noodles and big chunks of charred bell peppers – I picked at it, but didn’t mind skipping since I had a good breakfast).

Dinner was divine though. Papi’s in Fell’s Point for Taco Tuesday! I had the street tacos, vegan style, with Beyond meat. We also had a plantain appetizer that was killer. Sangria was mediocre, but I forgive them due to taco yum mines.

Wednesday morning was coffee and a banana with Chinese for lunch in Richmond. And when in Richmond, Buskey’s is a necessity! They actually weren’t open for business, but the door was open and in we went. Chatted with the owners where we got a tour of their canning facilities and were then asked for recommendations on places to go on tap in our area. And a great discount on a 4 pack of Matcha cider for M (and he LOVES it).

This morning for breakfast was….coffee and a banana! Really wasn’t feeling anything else. Lunch was veggie sushi and dinner was leftover veggie sushi!

FITNESS

Other than walks around Baltimore, not much Mon-Wed. Went for a run today though!

LIFE

Monday was largely spent driving to Baltimore and then hanging out until going to bed pretty early.

When I was a kid, my family (mom, dad, sister) went on a road trip to Colorado. My father had this old memory or something about how awesome Stuckey’s was and insisted we stop at ever single one he saw. I think we all got food poisoning at LEAST once each on that trip after breakfasts at Stuckey’s. Every time I passed one since, I’d send a picture to my dad. He’d get a huge kick out of it. He passed away 3 years ago, so I had to send this one to my sister so we could reminisce about our dad and his poor dining suggestions on that road trip!

Monday Baltimore sights.

Tuesday was the conference. I was there because I was speaking and I dragged a couple of co-workers with me as governing board members. Each has a really unique perspective that I find is partly overlooked in our industry, but also two of the hottest and in demand skill sets. I was glad they could participate as both are really tops in their fields.

Then it was dinner, more walking around, and to bed early again.

Wednesday was up and immediately on the road with the pit stop in Richmond. Got home around 4 or so. We were apparently out of Luna food so I took Kuma to the petstore on a Kumaventure where she was loved on by many at the store.

And today was back to business as usual! Work, some school work, and a run.

Saw this thread of pics from my cousin – couldn’t help it. I have to share as an alternative animal creation story.

Summon a Demon….or Meditate

FOOD

I actually don’t have a ton of food pics, oddly enough. Since my last post, it’s been a mix of eating in, eating out, and traveling.

Last of the lentil soup and vegan andouille!
Used Postmates from my fav Thai place. It was a disaster! But Luna loved the rice…

Breakfast date fun!

A vegan chocolate martini, and I was in literal heaven
Oh wait…THIS was the last of the lentil soup and andouille sausage!
Grilled tofu marinated in lime juice, chili paste, soy sauce, and water. So amazing.

Work lunch
Baby girl turned 16! Mug cake!

Carrot, orange, ginger, and beet juice

Family birthday lunch celebration
His and hers Bloody Mary’s!

Honestly love this stuff – especially while traveling. Tastes really good – which is shocking compared to most I’ve tried (and choked down)
Today’s Thai lunch date dish

FITNESS

Mostly runs and yoga. Another garage spin class too, which is always fun!

LIFE

It has been relatively quiet. The term ended, though I’m not actually using the break to chill this time. I’m done with all my coursework, and with my research topic approved, I have a ton of work to do before I can even begin research. Right now my focus is on writing my literature review – something I want to have completed in the next 6 weeks. That goal is highly aggressive, but I am confident I’ll hit it.

Most importantly, my baby girl turned 16! We had a low key evening at home on her birthday, which meant a dinner of her choosing and cake and presents. The next day we met up with my boyfriend and his youngest for lunch before the kids and I headed off to opening night of Howl-O-Scream for spooky fun! It is definitely a tradition for us, and we had a great time. Dole whip and screams for everyone! 🎃👻👹

Kids went on a ride I did not like (claustrophobic and don’t like the VR headsets), so I had a cider and read while waiting

One day my boyfriend and I spent the day together and had a great time. It involved a gallery, a new coffee shop, breakfast, and yummy cocktails, among other things. We also went out for brunch the day before I left for Boston.

Speaking of my trip to Boston – what a travel mess. Flight delays, missed connections, unsuccessful stand-by flights meant I got in many hours later than I was supposed to and missed the first day of meetings. Oh well. Second day I was met with cheers and hugs, so that was fun.

It was only an overnighter, so went home the next day – and had a flight delay! Irrelevant though since I had plenty of time to make my connection and got home the same time I would’ve anyway.

I’m home for the rest of the week before heading out of town Mon-Wed next week. So begins a very busy travel schedule for me through most of the rest of the year. Alas. All about that hustle!

For a pup who doesn’t like to swim, this is as close to the pool as she gets!

Wild Child With a Bedtime

Seriously, where the heck does the time go???

FOOD

Pretty typical. At home, lots of salads, smoothies, sunbutter toast, and tofu.

I made up a batch of beets in the Instant Pot, which I really love. And there was curry, a fav salad on a lunch date with my guy at a local Vietnamese place.

Saturday night we stayed in and grilled. He did most of the cooking – I made the salad. Everything was delicious.

Sunday morning we went to brunch – hummus lettuce wraps and a fun mimosa made with a scoop of sherbet in champagne! I’m a fan.

Dinner Sunday was a full family gathering, including my son-in-law, so the 8 of us went out to a Mexican restaurant that has a full vegan menu, which is awesome.

Then I hit the road for a 4 day work trip. The IBM offices have a chef, and he made me some delightful eats. Quinoa/beet cakes, and tons of roasted veggies, whole grains, and plenty of snacks too.

I met up with a girlfriend for margaritas (mine was the picante – of course) and dinner. I had a fun vegan Cobb salad, but the bowl is made of a cucumber! Tasty and fun.

This morning was toast and lunch was a bunch of lentils mixed with BBQ on a baker. Good stuff!

FITNESS

Several runs, yoga, and some HIIT workouts – which I think I need to start doing more of!

LIFE

Time really is flying by. R heads back to school next week! She’s super excited, so I am too.

It’s been a typical week or two. School dominates a lot of my time, but in a good way. Work, kids, and as much time as my guy and I can manage too. We try to spend at least one night per week together, which is always wonderful, even if it’s just watching a movie (which was last weekend!).

I had a work trip to Cambridge, MA for the majority of this week. Very productive and I love seeing all of my colleagues on this blockchain start-up. But it was also very exhausting. Flew up Monday late, Tuesday all day meetings, met with my girlfriend Tuesday eve, meetings all day Wednesday, big group dinner that night, meetings all day Thursday, and flew home that evening. I got in late last night (about 1130) and finally fell asleep by 130.

Today was sleeping in, working out, happy hour, dinner, then school fun! Looking forward to a long weekend of cleaning, school stuff, family, and time with my baby!

R bought this for me for finishing what SHOULD be my last math-based class ever!

View when I had cocktails with S earlier this week

So I’m a wild child with a bedtime!
This is me now. I used to stay up late and sleep in. But now I’m a morning person who wants to go to bed by 830 (though I don’t actually go to sleep until 10ish)